Chelsea boss Graham Potter is ready to give Christian Pulisic a chance to prove himself as the American looks to regain his place after being openly critical of Thomas Tuchel’s handling of him.
Pulisic has started one league game this season and only made 13 Premier League starts last season.
He was clearly not happy with his role in the team under Tuchel, who was sacked after a loss to Dinamo Zagreb in September, and excerpts from his autobiography reveal that he was frustrated to only be on the bench in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid during the 2020-21 season.
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“What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me. I’d had a really good first leg performance, and our following match was against Fulham in the league,” he wrote in the upcoming Pulisic: My Journey So Far.
“Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and as a result, I didn’t play a single minute in the Fulham game. Then on match day of the second semi, Tuchel tells me he’s changed his mind, and he’s going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed.
“I thought that I’d earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously I was going to start. So by the time he brought me on with about 25 minutes left, I was just so wound up.”
Potter said that he would be open to reading the book to better understand Pulisic’s experiences, but said it will be his football that dictates whether he remains a part of his long-term plans.
"I can't comment on the book necessarily, or what he's said. I think players go through periods of their careers where they have to suffer a little bit for whatever reason and don't get their game time that they would like, and it's part of the job, it's part of the sign up to being a Premier League footballer. It's not straightforward to be a regular in a top-four team," said Potter.
"That's not to say you don't understand the player's frustration when they don't play. That's what they want to do. That's what makes them happy. I can only comment on him in terms of how he's been with me.
"Really positive, he's an intelligent guy, articulate, knows how to express himself. My conversation with him has been good and positive. I'm not going to judge anybody on what has happened in the past. I'm going to make my own mind up. Football hopefully decides."
Potter’s first Premier League match at the helm will be away to Crystal Palace. Pulisic has scored five goals against the Eagles, netting three of them at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
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